Category Archives: physics

Daniel Sank, Phd/ Google quantum computing lab, stackexchange physics guest speaker Aug 12 2016

physics_chat.png➡ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ hi all. it is with great pleasure to introduce this next guest and chat series and welcome a larger audience. Daniel Sank, Phd working at Google Martinis quantum computing lab[2] is our 3rd guest speaker[1] in a guest chat series hosted by the physics stackexchange site/ chat room.[13] thanks to moderator David Z, Phd[18] for the suggestion of the idea, coordination and graciously agreeing to hosting in his already well-attended biweekly chat sessions.[11]

we have now hosted two prior events in series with great success with Samuel Lereah, Masters in physics[4][5], and yuggib, Phd math working in mathematical physics, thanks so much to these groundbreaking/ enthusiastic guest speakers for their particularly inspired/ dedicated participation.[5][6]

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$1B EU QM computing initiative + QM theory/ applied highlights Q1 2016

nature_EU_qm➡ 💡 ❗ ⭐ 😮 😀 😎 ❤ hi all, more signs that physics is in a golden age esp in the area of quantum computing and quantum mechanics. EU just announced a $1B initiative to fund quantum computing. this combines with two other existing/ similar projects to analyze the brain and advance graphene technology/ understanding.[a]

the Manifesto[a1] is a sign that we are in dramatic times. you will not much hear scientists ever use the word Manifesto in their entire lifetimes. (marx was a rare exception.) another word that you will rarely hear scientists use is “revolution” but they are calling quantum computing the 2nd quantum revolution. as the chinese say, may you live in interesting times.

the announcement is utterly buried in a bureacratic document[a3] under the section “What is the financial impact of the Cloud Initiative? Where will the money come from and how will it be invested?” but Nature blared it anyway.[a2] apparently those bureacrats are a little gun shy after criticism of the $1B brain initiative as too ambitious or infeasible etc.

these are other big 2015 Q1 developments/ highlights. as usual its hard to keep up with lightning fast advances in this field. even the canadian prime minister is talking about QM these days.[b1][b2] DWave seems to be further confounding its critics with real, measurable performance.[b9][b4] somewhat similar to the EU announcement, chinas Alibaba announced a major QM research initative.[b8] they are intending to start out with encryption applications and hundreds of engineers, working toward QM computing technology.

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gravity wave breakthrough, einstein strikes again!

gravity_chirphi all the LIGO gravity wave announcement is really exciting and WAY COOL for a lot of reasons. its the 1-century anniversary of einstein making the prediction. “einstein strikes again!” much like universe expansion, he changed his mind over their reality but seemed to have settled on their plausibility.[b2] its another huge victory for Big Science™. the experiment has extreme sensitivity and cost about ~$1B over several decades. it was heavily funded by NSF instead of european agencies, although there are other detectors set to go online soon. its a tour de force of experimental science.

there is a big CS angle here, playing a supporting role unf with little fanfare. articles state at least 24M cpu hours were involved in simulations; the figure is probably much higher. (few seem to be keeping track.) it was largely processed by Atlas, operated by Albert Einstein Institute.[20]

this is all fabulous, but could some day a CS-centric initiative (eg into the deep aspects of say complexity theory or automated theorem proving) be launched with similar scale and epochal results? am feeling someday CS may play the starring role.

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breakthru prize 2016

zuckerbergs_babyhi all the breakthru prizes 2016 were announced in early nov and the prize ceremony ran again. missed posting at the time on it, but dont want to let it get by completely. it didnt seem as quite as high publicity as last time but still a big deal. covered this last time with a lot of commentary.

not as much a CS angle this time, but there was a $3M math prize to Ian Algol maybe with some applied possibility.

facebooks Zuckerberg & his wife, new parents, were in attendance.

something else that caught my eye, a new “junior” prize awarded to a high schooler:

New this year, Priscilla Chan and Sal Khan announced the winner of the inaugural Breakthrough Junior Challenge, 18-year-old Ryan Chester, of North Royalton, Ohio. Priscilla Chan and Salman Khan presented Ryan with a $250,000 educational scholarship for his winning video depiction of Einstein’s theory of special relativity. His teacher, Richard Nestoff, was presented an award of $50,000. Ryan’s school, North Royalton High School, received a state-of-the art science lab valued at $100,000. The lab will be designed by and in partnership with the school and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education, and is home to more than 600 researchers and technicians.

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QM breakthru: google vindicates DWave QM computer, 1st qubits in silicon

qmcpuhi all, very big headline-grabbing news that google has largely proved out/ vindicated the 1KQbit DWave design with a recent scientific paper.[a] also published in Nature, the worlds first qubits based on silicon fabrication.[b] other QM computing breakthroughs are in the headlines daily.[c]

Aaronson has recently talked about “clean vs dirty qubits” the former being pursued by google/ Martinis lab, and the latter by DWave. its a nice conceptual simplification but lets face it, its overall maybe not a contradictory pursuit, but more of a complementary one. maybe architectures based on both are viable and will have different strengths/ weaknesses. reminds me of the long rivalry between Intel and AMD, or maybe Intel and ARM. and google is very smartly hedging its bets (this is obviously not a mistake) and knee-deep in the middle of both approaches. (think its human nature to have a black/ white Team A vs Team B mentality but at extremes this can interfere with scientific advancement in some ways.)

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